Question: What good is a compass if the iPad Wifi model doesn't have GPS?

melman101

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Sep 3, 2009
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As the topic leads on:

What good is a compass on the iPad Wifi model when it doesn't have GPS?

Just wondering if anyone has any ideas.
 

sfmountainbiker

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Oct 21, 2009
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A compass will tell you what direction you are facing. It's what "old timers" used to use to orient (sorry for the unpreferred nomenclature there) themselves.
 

calderone

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Aug 28, 2009
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Think about what people did before GPS. How would having a compass help them? I am sure you will find your answer.
 

melman101

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Well I understand that, but I mean, I don't see whipping out an iPad just to find out what direction you are facing.
 

Bodhi395

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Jul 23, 2008
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You find yourself lost in the woods, all that's with you is a fully charged iPad. Ten hours later, you have found your way home.
 

melman101

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Sep 3, 2009
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So your question is really: What is the point of an iPad having a compass?
Sure.

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The woods thing, I guess so. But I really don't think thats why they put that in there. Plus, if you were really camping, I'd guess you'd probably have a real compass then relying on one that could die in 10 hours? Maybe I'm wrong :).
 

calderone

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Aug 28, 2009
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Sure.

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The woods thing, I guess so. But I really don't think thats why they put that in there. Plus, if you were really camping, I'd guess you'd probably have a real compass then relying on one that could die in 10 hours? Maybe I'm wrong :).
Well, it is a great mystery then.

More seriously. What is the point of an iPhone having a compass? It is a separate app, and the results of the compass don't seem to enhance the Maps app or GPS data.

So it seems like GPS and a Compass together in the same device is worthless, no? So why not have a compass in a device that doesn't have GPS?
 

ntrigue

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Jul 30, 2007
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Is there a legal restriction for GPS devices in-car? I'd imagine 9.7" is against the law in at least California.
 

hobbbz

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Mar 8, 2005
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Well, it is a great mystery then.

More seriously. What is the point of an iPhone having a compass? It is a separate app, and the results of the compass don't seem to enhance the Maps app or GPS data.

So it seems like GPS and a Compass together in the same device is worthless, no? So why not have a compass in a device that doesn't have GPS?
In the maps app if you click the blue dot it tells you what direction you're facing and shows what road you're on. That is very useful.
 

calderone

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Aug 28, 2009
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In the maps app if you click the blue dot it tells you what direction you're facing and shows what road you're on. That is very useful.
That doesn't work on my fiancee's 3Gs...

It seems that you tap the locate button twice, which gives you the direction.
 

colmaclean

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Jan 6, 2004
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Apps which rely on knowing the direction the iPad's being held will need a compass.

One example is an app I use on the iPhone - Distant Suns. It displays a representation of the night sky in the direction you are pointing your phone.

The only thing with having no GPS is you'll have to tell it where on Earth you're standing.
 

iVoid

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Jan 9, 2007
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Is there a legal restriction for GPS devices in-car? I'd imagine 9.7" is against the law in at least California.
Why? I've seen larger in dash screens for GPS.

If you're watching videos fo texting on it, then you'd get in trouble.
 

bobsentell

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Nov 14, 2008
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Is there a legal restriction for GPS devices in-car? I'd imagine 9.7" is against the law in at least California.
9.7" is perfectly legal as long as it doesn't obstruct your view nor is a distraction.

That said...it's probably one of those things your probably may not want to do.
 

railgrab

macrumors newbie
Oct 19, 2009
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answer- augmented reality gaming!

Well, once the iPad gets an embedded projector (or you hook it up to a pico projector), you will be able to play games which allow you to maneuver around 360 degrees! This could revolutionize gaming. Search for Microvision's laser gaming gun to see what I mean.
 

undrpsi

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Mar 28, 2010
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Gastonia, NC
Jeez...runs as part of location services for some apps.

GoSkyWatch makes you wave it in figure 8's to get your compass heading then displays the starfield based on time/date/.

There are several apps that use this...and it's used with the 'simulated' GPS (wifi) which works fairly well in my area..YMMV
 

palz

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Apr 2, 2010
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You find yourself lost in the woods, all that's with you is a fully charged iPad. Ten hours later, you have found your way home.
LOL. Well I guess they left it out cause the ipad is not an iphone 3gs.

That's why the iPod touch 3G has no compass or battery percent. Because apple 'reserves' that for their "magical" phone.
 

PinkyMacGodess

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Mar 7, 2007
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There's a compass on the iPad? Where's the app for it? The 3Gs has a compass app... Is there one for the iPad that is hidden?

Also, what good is 'assisted GPS' on the iPad 3G? Doesn't that mean that it doesn't really have a 'GPS receiver' but fakes it through your spatial distances from cell towers? Can't they call it, if that is what it is, something more truthful like 'Triangulation' or 'slightly better than your husband's directions'? I mean, come on... I can get something the size of a watch that has 'true GPS' and a real receiver and is pretty damned accurate and what does the iPad do???

First thought that I had (well, maybe not THE first) was how blissfully outrageous maps on the iPad would look with true GPS... It *could* put Garmin out of business...
 

Michael CM1

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Feb 4, 2008
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There's an app called Star Walk. It shows you where stars, planets, constellations, etc. are located in the sky. My iPhone version doesn't seem to lock on a direction using the compass, but I can use the compass app to find out which way I'm facing. That's exactly what I did to get my bearings for where I was looking.

So that's one use. The compass part is probably so cheap that Apple just threw it in there for the heck of it. I think it's technically called a magnometer. Maybe in the future even the WiFi iPad will have a GPS chip.
 

samcraig

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Jun 22, 2009
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the compass will also be used (eventually) by some innovative app developers combined with the accelerometers for games which can determine which direction you are facing - not just up, down, left, right, etc
 

PinkyMacGodess

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Mar 7, 2007
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the compass will also be used (eventually) by some innovative app developers combined with the accelerometers for games which can determine which direction you are facing - not just up, down, left, right, etc
Magnetometer...

I just had a thought: Will the 3Gs Compass app work on the iPad... Hmm...
 

Siguy

macrumors newbie
Jul 12, 2008
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Also, what good is 'assisted GPS' on the iPad 3G? Doesn't that mean that it doesn't really have a 'GPS receiver' but fakes it through your spatial distances from cell towers? Can't they call it, if that is what it is, something more truthful like 'Triangulation' or 'slightly better than your husband's directions'? I mean, come on... I can get something the size of a watch that has 'true GPS' and a real receiver and is pretty damned accurate and what does the iPad do???
Actually it is "true GPS" or whatever phrase you'd use. It just uses cell towers to find a general position quickly before using the satellite for the more precise location. In my experience it's much better than something like a handheld Garmin which can totally freak out and take minutes to find itself if you, say, turn it off in California then turn it back on again halfway across the country.